Nanzan Castle
Itoman, Okinawa
Nanzan Castle before 1945
Site information
Controlled byNanzan (1314-1429)
Chūzan (1429)
 Ryūkyū Kingdom (1429–1879)
 Empire of Japan (1879–1945)
United States Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands(1945-1950)
United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands(1950-1972)
Open to
the public
Site history
Builtearly 14th century
Built byŌzato family
In useearly 14th century – 1429
MaterialsRyukyuan limestone, wood
Demolished1429 invasion of Nanzan
Battles/warsInvasion of Nanzan (1429)
Garrison information
OccupantsKings of Nanzan

Nanzan Castle (南山城, Nanzan jō, Okinawan: Nanzan Gushiku), officially Shimajiri-Ōzato Castle (島尻大里城, Shimajiri-Ōzato jō, Okinawan: Shimajiri-Ufuzatu Gushiku), is a Ryūkyūan gusuku and was the largest in, and capital of, Nanzan until 1429. It is in ruins, and is located in Itoman.


Nanzan Castle was built in the early 14th century, and became capital of Nanzan in 1314 when the Lord of Ōzato, Ōzato Ofusato, broke away from the chieftain Tamagusuku at Urasoe Castle.[1] It sat on a hill near the fishing town of Itoman and the farming village of Ōzato. There was a small inlet at the bottom of the hill that allowed merchant ships to trade directly with the castle.[2] The strategic location of the castle allowed Nanzan to compete with Chūzan and outlive Hokuzan, but during a succession dispute in 1429 following the death of the last King of Nanzan, Ōzato Taromai, the army of Chūzan captured the castle.[2] In the 1950s, a primary school was built within the inner court of the castle.[2]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-04-21.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Kerr, George H. Okinawa, The History of an Island People, Second Printing, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, 1959, p. 60

Coordinates: 26°07′40″N 127°41′20″E / 26.127779748951877°N 127.68891562920695°E / 26.127779748951877; 127.68891562920695